Republicans take control of Minnesota House
ST. PAUL - Victories in nonmetro Minnesota on Tuesday delivered the state House back to GOP control. It was a lonely GOP victory in what otherwise was an election day Democrats dominated in state races. Republicans picked up DFL seats in many rur...
ST. PAUL – Victories in nonmetro Minnesota on Tuesday delivered the state House back to GOP control.
It was a lonely GOP victory in what otherwise was an election day Democrats dominated in state races.
Republicans picked up DFL seats in many rural areas, helping the GOP pick up the seven seats needed to flip the House for the third time in as many election cycles.
In their bid to keep control of the state House, DFLers got some early good news in the Twin Cities suburbs by holding onto hotly contested seats in Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka and Brooklyn Park. However, the race between Rep. Yvonne Selcer, D-Minnetonka, and Republican Kirk Stensrud was decided by a mere 36 votes, triggering an automatic recount.
But a strong showing in nonmetro Minnesota turned the tide in favor of the GOP.
While the state Senate wasn’t up for election this year, all 134 House seats were on the ballot. For the last two years, DFLers have controlled the House and Senate, enabling DFL Gov. Mark Dayton to pass major parts of his agenda.
Republicans this year waged a campaign to regain some power at the state Capitol in St. Paul. They needed a net gain of seven seats to wrest control of the House.
Earlier in the evening, Dayton won a second term, in which he will face a Democratic Senate and Republican House.
Of their 73 seats, DFLers in roughly 20 districts had to battle for re-election on competitive turf, including nine DFL-held seats in greater Minnesota where GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won in 2012.
The House has flipped back-and-forth between DFL and Republican control in the last two election cycles. In the last midterm elections, in 2010, Republicans took control of both legislative chambers from the DFL. The tables turned in the presidential election year of 2012 and the DFL established single-party control of the Legislature and the governor’s office for the first time since 1990.
Greater Minnesota was a major theater for the House campaigns with races in Brainerd, St. Cloud and Willmar, among other communities, drawing a deluge of print and broadcast advertising. The 2015 legislative session will convene Jan. 6. State lawmakers will construct the next two-year general fund budget as their main item of business. Legislative leaders have also signaled that transportation funding will be a major agenda item.